Take a hike!

Welcome to the Bill Memorial Library Trail Passport program! We encourage you to go beyond the beaten path and explore a new trail this summer. Listed are 13 properties in and around Groton that are easy to find. Explore a trail and return to the library to have your passport stamped. The program is open to adults and children, encouraging all to explore the many different trails and walkways in Groton. 

The trails and walks listed in this passport range from very easy and accessible to more challenging. To participate, explore any of the trails and
walks in the passport and then come by the library to have your passport stamped. There is space in the passport to add any trails that are not listed that you might want to explore.

Visit at least 2 locations and return your passport to the Bill Memorial Library by August 18 to be entered into our prize drawing. In addition, anyone who completes all 13 trails will be added to an extra drawing for an additional prize.

Send us (email or FB messenger) any photos you take on your trail adventures and we will post them on our Facebook page and here!

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Information for each passport location, including directions, parking information and trail maps, can be found below. The websites to each property’s organization are also located below. These organizations provide a wealth of information on their properties and hiking in general. The State of CT State Parks page lists every park in Connecticut, many of which have multiple trails for multiple skill levels. AllTrails is a great online resource providing information and hiker reviews for trails both local and across the country.

Find links to each passport trail with information, directions and maps

Avalonia Land Conservancy

     Search under “Our Preserves” to find a trail.

Groton Open Space Association

     Search under “Properties” to find the trail you want.

Town of Groton Parks and Recreation

     Search under “Parks and Trails.”

State of Connecticut DEEP – State Parks

     Scroll down to find the link to the park you are looking for.

Connecticut Forest & Park Association

     Maintains the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System, with more than 825 miles of trails marked with blue rectangular blazes.

AllTrails

     Type the name of the trail you are looking for into the search bar.

SAFETY FIRST! Tips for Safe Hiking

Make sure someone knows where you are going, how long you expect to be out, and when you expect to be home.

Always hike with a grownup or buddy & wait for your group at trail junctions.

Bring a printed map – if you need a printed map ask at the Bill Memorial Library & we will print one for you at no charge.

Dress for the hike – wear sneakers or boots, not sandals.

Check the weather before you go.

Never touch wildlife (snakes or bugs, for instance). Enjoy them by observing them only. Take a photo!

Do not travel too far without seeing a trail marker. Carefully notice landmarks and features so you can get back to a known area if you get confused. If you get lost, hunker down, call for someone on a cellphone, and call out so someone can hear you.

Stay on the path to avoid disturbing plants and wildlife.

Please keep dogs on a leash. This is especially important when hiking in nature preserves where wildlife, plants and vernal pools can be disturbed.

Check yourself for ticks when you are done outside.

HikeSafegreat tips for hiking with kids

Trails

Avery Farm

Avery Farm Nature Preserve – Groton Open Space Association (GOSA)

Lambtown Rd. Ext., Ledyard, CT

Blue Trail – 1.8 miles, mostly level and easy walking, part of the trail is on Lambtown Road. Trail goes through woods and fields and passes a pond.

Trail information, trail map, directions and parking info can be found by clicking the trail name above. Find a trail map here.

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Candlewood Ridge

Candlewood Ridge – Groton Open Space Association (GOSA) 

Lambtown Rd. Ext., Ledyard, CT

Begin on Blue Trail, options of Red and Yellow Trails – 2+ miles, more challenging with narrow trails requiring some hill climbing. Interesting rocks and large boulders.

Trail information, trail map, directions and parking info can be found by clicking the trail name above. Find a trail map here. (Note that Candlewood Ridge is connected to Avery Farm.)

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Sheep Farm

Sheep Farm – Groton Open Space Association (GOSA)

Top of Hazelnut Hill Rd., Groton, CT

1 mile Red Trail loop with Blue and Yellow Trail options. Fairly easy trail with some hills and a side trail to view the waterfall.

Trail information, directions and parking info can be found by clicking the trail name above. Find a trail map here.  (Additional trails are now open in Sheep Farm South, which link Sheep Farm to the Merritt Family Forest.)

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Bluff Point

Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve – State of CT

55 Depot Rd., Groton, CT

3.6 mile easy loop trail with some hills. The loop trail is not marked, but consists of the gravel road that starts along the water. Trail travels through the woods to a long beach and an overlook with views of the ocean from the bluff.

General park information and directions can be found by clicking the trail name above. Find a trail map here.

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Haley Farm

Haley Farm State Park – State of CT

24 Haley Farm Ln., Groton, CT

There are several trail options, with the outer loop trail being 2.7 miles. Most paths are easy and pass through woods and fields with some water views.

General park information and directions can be found by clicking the trail name above. Find a trail map here.

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Poquonnock Plains Park

Poquonnock Plains Park – Town of Groton

1 Central Ave., Groton, CT

Half mile easy level walking loop around the sports fields, with a playground.

General park information and directions can be found by clicking the trail name above.

Copp Park's Central Bark dog park

Copp Family Park – Town of Groton

821 Gold Star Highway, Groton, CT

Yellow trail is a 1.58-mile easy walking path passing by the dog park and reservoir. Other trails are slightly more challenging. The Green Trail is frequently wet.

Trail information, directions and parking info can be found by clicking the trail name above. Find a trail map here.

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Beebe Pond

Moore Woodlands / Beebe Pond / Town’s End – Avalonia Land Conservancy, Town of Groton

Multiple entry points: check website for locations

Avalonia Moore Woodlands, Groton Town Beebe Pond Park and Avalonia Town’s End are all moderate hikes through forest with some hills. The 3 trails combine for 3.6 miles with interconnected loops. A map of all three trails can be found here.

AllTrails – Trail description of all 3 properties and hiker reviews

*Bonus (for fun): At the Capstan Ave. entrance you will find tree identification maps – see if you can find all the tree markers and identify each one.

Leo Antonino Preserve

Leo Antonino Preserve – Avalonia Land Conservancy

Antonino Rd., Groton, CT (parking at the southern end of the cul de sac)

The Yellow Trail is a fairly easy 1.3 miles. The Blue Trail is slightly more challenging. Trail is through the woods and features interesting rocks and boulders and water crossings.

Trail information, directions and parking info can be found by clicking the trail name above. Find a trail map here.

*Bonus (for fun): try to find the rusted truck!

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Fort Griswold Monument

Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park – State of CT

Park Ave. & Monument St., Groton, CT

Take an easy walk through Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, site of the 1781 massacre during the Revolutionary War. The park sits on a hill.

General park information, directions, and a map can be found by clicking the trail name above.

AllTrails – More trail descriptions and hiker reviews

Lighthouse at UConn Avery Point

University of Connecticut at Avery Point 

1084 Shennecossett Rd., Groton, CT

Take an easy walk around the beautiful campus overlooking Long Island Sound. Follow the brick path to the Avery Point Lighthouse. Click here for a campus map.

Workers' Memorial at Washington Park

Washington Park – City of Groton, CT

155 Meridian St., Groton, CT

Take an easy walk around Washington Park. Much of the park sits on a hill. Park information here.

Avery-Copp House

Thames Street – City of Groton, CT

Take an easy walk along the river on Thames Street. Look for the Mother Bailey House, the Avery-Copp House, the Thames River Heritage Park/Water Taxi and Thames View Park.

Thames River Heritage Park Water Taxi

Books and Other Resources

We’ve collected a list of books about hiking and walking. These terrific books on outdoor adventures can be found on our shelves. Call or visit our online catalog to request a title today!

Coming soon: you!

These are great pictures that all of you have submited. To send us photos of you enjoying the trails, email our staff account here. Photos will also be posted to Facebook!